sat 02/03/2024

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

David Nice
Saturday, 02 March 2024
After last year’s small-scale, big-impact Messiah in the Wigmore Hall, superlatives are again in order for the IBO’s performance of the greatest musical offering known to...
Helen Hawkins
Saturday, 02 March 2024
Diablo Cody’s biggest screenwriting hit was 2007’s Juno, a larky but tender story of teenage pregnancy. She’s gone back to high school for her latest, Lisa Frankenstein, which...
Tom Greed
Saturday, 02 March 2024
For musicians, the period from early 2020 to mid-2021 was one of great reflection, with so many questions to puzzle over. Could we satisfy the basic need to interact with others...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 02 March 2024
 William Steinberg: Complete Command Classics Recordings (DG)It’s hard to find a bad word said against conductor William Steinberg, cited by one critic as combining the best...
Joe Muggs
Saturday, 02 March 2024
Over the years, Tom “Squarepusher” Jenkinson has covered a lot of ground over three decades, from dank cellar ambience to refined baroque composition, and from chirpy funk to...
Jane Edwardes
Friday, 01 March 2024
Can there be anyone from Sheffield who has not seen Standing at the Sky’s Edge, possibly several times? This is the once local show, opening at the Sheffield Crucible in 2019,...
Hugh Barnes
Friday, 01 March 2024
During the Cold War, US presidents often claimed that the West and the Soviet Union had never fought one another directly....
Rachel Halliburton
Friday, 01 March 2024
The shadow of Nosferatu hangs heavily over Tim Albery’s powerfully austere staging of Wagner’s opera of desire and damnation...
Gary Naylor
Friday, 01 March 2024
Transgression was so deliciously enticing. Back in the Eighties when I saw Les Liaisons Dangereuses in the West End on three...
Robert Beale
Friday, 01 March 2024
Sir Mark Elder conducted Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 for his first time in last night’s Hallé series concert, a reflection of...
Ellie Roberts
Friday, 01 March 2024
Kaiser Chiefs’ appropriately named Kaiser Chiefs’ Easy Eighth Album is a collection of ten easy listening, but not...
Boyd Tonkin
Thursday, 29 February 2024
Trials by fire and water pale in comparison with trials by Arts Council England. English National Opera’s long torment has...
Helen Hawkins
Thursday, 29 February 2024
Keeley Hawes onstage is something to look forward to, so rare are her appearances there. In Lucy Kirkwood’s new play, The...
James Saynor
Thursday, 29 February 2024
The French military outpost on Madagascar is a “family cocoon, full of love and benevolence”, according to a character in...
Gary Naylor
Thursday, 29 February 2024
If Mark Twain thought that a German joke was no laughing matter, what would he make of a German comedy? That quote came...
Guy Oddy
Thursday, 29 February 2024
Those who were around to witness the release of the Stone Roses’ Second Coming album will no doubt remember how a record-...
Helen Hawkins
Wednesday, 28 February 2024
Hot on the heels of Brigid Larmour’s updating of The Merchant of Venice to the East End in 1936, a spirited new musical...
Bernard Hughes
Wednesday, 28 February 2024
I have never seen the Wigmore Hall stage more crammed with instruments than for this Colin Currie Quartet concert. Sadly the...
Veronica Lee
Wednesday, 28 February 2024
In the middle of another age of austerity, a climate crisis and seemingly intractable international conflicts, it's cheering...


10 YEARS ON - PACO PENA A tribute to his friend, the late, great flamenco star Paco de Lucía

★★★★ THE BEVIS FROND - FOCUS ON NATURE Nick Saloman is a great musical stylist

★★★ DRIVE TO SURVIVE, SEASON 6, NETFLIX Real-life dramas in the paddock were too late to make the cut

★★★★ MEMORY Jessica Chastain and Peter Sarsgaard in a complex, painful love story

★★★★ SHIFTERS, BUSH THEATRE Love will tear us apart again

★★★★ COLIN CURRIE QUARTET, WIGMORE HALL Scintillating percussion virtuosity


★★★★ ANDY PARSONS, TOURING Reasons to be cheerful...

disc of the day

Album: Squarepusher - Dostrotime

Chelmsfordian prog-jazz-acid-rave mania showing no signs of dimming


Drive to Survive, Season 6, Netflix review - F1 documentary overtaken by events

Real-life dramas in the paddock were too late to make the cut

The Way, BBC One review - steeltown blues

Michael Sheen's ode to Port Talbot stretches credulity

Kin, Series 2, BBC One review - when crime dynasties collide

Dublin becomes a war zone in Peter McKenna's addictive drama


Lisa Frankenstein review - a bitchy trawl through the high-school horror movie back catalogue

Diablo Cody delivers a comic but gory pastiche of 1980s pop culture

Red Island review - Madagascar miniatures

An undemanding study of the post-colonial French

Driving Mum review - a dark comedy that has you laughing out loud

A son fulfils his mother’s wishes and stifles his own

new music

Album: Squarepusher - Dostrotime

Chelmsfordian prog-jazz-acid-rave mania showing no signs of dimming

Album: Kaiser Chiefs - Kaiser Chiefs’ Easy Eighth Album

The slump continues for Ricky Wilson’s gang

Album: Liam Gallagher John Squire - Liam Gallagher John Squire

Uninspiring Dad Rock that sounds pretty much as expected


First Person: violinist Tom Greed on breaking down barriers in the presentation of chamber music

Unscary Schoenberg is on the bill of enterprising young musicians' latest new-look event

Classical CDs: Toccatas, taxi horns and tortoises

A superb conductor/orchestra pairing celebrated, plus French chanson and an exciting contemporary anthology


Der fliegende Holländer, Royal Opera review - compellingly lucid with an austere visual beauty

Bryn Terfel's Dutchman is a subtly vampiric figure in this otherworldly interpretation

The Magic Flute, English National Opera review - return of an enchanted evening

Simon McBurney's dark pantomime casts its spell again


Standing at the Sky's Edge, Gillian Lynne Theatre review - heartwarming Sheffield musical arrives in the West End
Olivier Award-winning musical offers a celebration of community and a stirring exploration of a brutalist building's history
Cruel Intentions, The Other Palace review - uneasy vibes, hit tunes and sparkling staging
Jukebox musical gets toes tapping, but the thrill of transgression ain't what it used to be
The Human Body, Donmar Warehouse review - Keeley Hawes and Jack Davenport excel in an intriguing staging
Lucy Kirkwood’s latest mixes the birth of the NHS with a Brief Encounter-ish romance


First Person: Ten Years On - Flamenco guitarist Paco Peña pays tribute to his friend, the late, great Paco de Lucía

On the 10th anniversary of his death, memories of the prodigious musician who broadened the reach of flamenco into jazz and beyond

Dance for Ukraine Gala, London Palladium review - a second rich helping of international dancers

Ivan Putrov's latest gala was a satisfying mix of stars and young hopefuls


Andy Parsons, Touring review - reasons to be cheerful...

...Even if the country's falling apart

Bill Bailey: Thoughtifier, Brighton Centre review - offbeat adventures with a whirling, erudite mind

Bailey's fusion of studied musicality and off-the-wall wordplay remains one-of-a-kind


Tom Chatfield: Wise Animals review - on the changing world

A compelling account of how we use technology – and how it uses us

Sheila Heti: Alphabetical Diaries review - an A-Z of inner life

Heti goes far beyond a gimmick in this work of surprising and moving insight


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